Tamar Gendler

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Tamar Szabó Gendler
Tamar Gendler.jpg
Dean of Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Assumed office
July 1, 2014
Appointed byPeter Salovey
Personal details
Born (1965-12-20) 20 December 1965 (age 53)
Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.
Spouse(s)Zoltan Szabo
ResidenceHamden, Connecticut, U.S.
Alma materHarvard University
Yale University

Tamar Szabó Gendler (born December 20, 1965) is the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Yale[1][2] as well as the Vincent J. Scully Professor of Philosophy and a Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Sciences at Yale University. Her academic research focuses on issues in philosophical psychology, epistemology, metaphysics, and areas related to philosophical methodology.


Education and employment[edit]

Gendler was born in 1965 in Princeton, New Jersey to Mary and Everett Gendler, a Conservative rabbi. She grew up in Andover, Massachusetts, where she attended the Andover public schools and then Phillips Academy Andover.[3]

As an undergraduate, she studied at Yale University, where she was a championship debater in the American Parliamentary Debate Association and a member of Manuscript Society.[4] She graduated summa cum laude in 1987 with Distinction in Humanities and Math & Philosophy.

After graduating from college, she worked for several years as an assistant to Linda Darling-Hammond at the RAND Corporation’s education policy division in Washington, DC.[5]

In 1996, she earned her philosophy Ph.D. at Harvard University, with Robert Nozick, Derek Parfit and Hilary Putnam as her advisors.[6]

Gendler taught philosophy at Yale University (1996–97), Syracuse University (1997–2003) and Cornell University (2003–06), before returning to Yale in 2006 as Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Yale University Cognitive Science Program (2006–2010).[7] On July 1, 2010, she became Chair of the Yale University Department of Philosophy, becoming the first woman to hold that position in the department’s history and the first female graduate of Yale College to chair a Yale Department. She held the position until 2013, when she was appointed as Deputy Provost for Humanities and Initiatives.[8]

Since July 2014, Gendler served as the inaugural Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Yale.[9][10]

Gendler is married to Zoltan Gendler Szabo, a philosopher and linguist who is also a professor at Yale University.[11][12] They have two children.

Honors and professional accomplishments[edit]

Gendler has held Fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship Program in the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies/Ryskamp Fellowship Program,[13] the Collegium Budapest Institute for Advanced Studies, and the Mellon New Directions Program.[14] In 2012, she was appointed as the Vincent J. Scully Professor of Philosophy at Yale.[15] In 2013, she was awarded the Yale College-Sidonie Miskimin Clauss ’75 Prize for Excellence in Teaching in the Humanities.[16]

She is the author of Thought Experiments: On the Powers and Limits of Imaginary Cases (Routledge, 2000)[17] and Intuition, Imagination and Philosophical Methodology (Oxford, 2010),[18] and editor or co-editor of The Elements of Philosophy (Oxford 2008),[19] Perceptual Experience (Oxford, 2006),[20] Conceivability and Possibility (Oxford 2002). She is also co-editor of the journal Oxford Studies in Epistemology[21] and The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology.[22]

Her philosophical articles have appeared in journals such as the Journal of Philosophy, Mind, Philosophical Perspectives, Mind & Language, Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Philosophical Studies, and The Philosophical Quarterly. Her 2008 essay “Alief and Belief” was selected by the Philosopher’s Annual as one of the 10 best articles published in philosophy in 2008.[23]

She also lectures occasionally for non-professional audiences as a professor with One Day University[24] and as a diavlogger on bloggingheads.tv where she runs The Mind Report with her colleagues Laurie R. Santos, Paul Bloom and Joshua Knobe.[25] She also serves on the Board of Advisors of the Marc Sanders Foundation,[26] which awards prizes for outstanding work in philosophy.

On September 3, 2013, Gendler delivered the Keynote address to Yale freshmen during the class of 2017 matriculation ceremony. Her topic was "Keeping inconsistency in your pockets."[27]

She is best known for her work on thought experiments,[28] imagination—particularly on the phenomenon of imaginative resistance[29]—and for coining the term alief.[30]


  • The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology. Co-edited by Tamar Szabo Gendler, Herman Cappelen, and John Hawthorne. NY/Oxford: Clarendon/Oxford University Press, 2016.
  • Intuition, Imagination and Philosophical Methodology: Selected Papers. NY/Oxford: Clarendon/Oxford University Press, 2010.
  • The Elements of Philosophy: Readings from Past and Present. Co-edited with Susanna Siegel and Steven M. Cahn, NY: Oxford, 2008.
  • Perceptual Experience. Co-edited with an introduction by Tamar Szabó Gendler and John Hawthorne. NY/Oxford: Clarendon/Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • Conceivability and Possibility. Co-edited with an introduction by Tamar Szabó Gendler and John Hawthorne. NY/Oxford: Clarendon/Oxford University Press, 2002.
  • Thought Experiment: On the Powers and Limits of Imaginary Cases. NY: Routledge, 2000.


  1. ^ Lloyd-Thomas, Matthew (May 21, 2015). "Salovey names new deans". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  2. ^ "Faculty of Arts and Sciences". Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  3. ^ "Class Notes" (PDF). Andover Bulletin. Summer 2008. p. 91. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
  4. ^ "YDA Alumni Reunion". Yaledebate.org. Archived from the original on March 28, 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
  5. ^ "Reports & Bookstore | Authors | G | Tamar Gendler". RAND. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
  6. ^ "Tamar Gendler About". Pantheon.yale.edu. 2009-10-19. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
  7. ^ Marsden, Jessica (2 March 2006). "Philosophy takes steps to rebuild". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  8. ^ "Gendler appointed deputy provost for the humanities and initiatives". Office of the Provost. Yale University. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  9. ^ http://fas.yale.edu/news/new-deans-lead-yale-college-graduate-school-and-first-time-fas/
  10. ^ http://yaledailynews.com/blog/2014/05/21/salovey-names-new-deans/
  11. ^ "WEDDINGS; Tamar Gendler, Zoltan Szabo". New York Times. 1995-06-18. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
  12. ^ "Philosophy recruits five new profs". Yale Daily News. 2006-02-28. Archived from the original on 2013-02-09. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
  13. ^ "ACLS Annual Report 2005-2007" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-05-27.
  14. ^ "New Directions Fellowships". The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Archived from the original on 10 January 2010. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  15. ^ "Tamar Gendler appointed the Vincent J. Scully Professor". Yale News. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  16. ^ "Yale College Teaching Prizes 2013". Yale College. 2013. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  17. ^ Gendler, Tamar Szabo (2000-11-02). Thought Experiment: On the Powers and Limits of Imaginary Cases (1st ed.). New York: Routledge. ISBN 9780815336563.
  18. ^ "Intuition, Imagination, and Philosophical Methodology - Oxford Scholarship". 2010-12-01. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199589760.001.0001/acprof-9780199589760. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  19. ^ results, search (2007-12-26). Gendler, Tamar Szabo; Siegel, Susanna (eds.). The Elements of Philosophy: Readings from Past and Present (1st ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195335422.
  20. ^ "Perceptual Experience - Oxford Scholarship". 2006-01-19. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199289769.001.0001/acprof-9780199289769. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  21. ^ Oxford Studies in Epistemology: Volume 2. Oxford Studies in Epistemology. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. 2008. ISBN 9780199237067.
  22. ^ The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology. Oxford Handbooks. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. 2016-07-19. ISBN 9780199668779.
  23. ^ "Philosopher's Annual". Philosophersannual.org. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
  24. ^ "One Day University | Live Classes, Adult Education & Local Classes". Onedayu.com. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
  25. ^ "Bloggingheads.tv". Bloggingheads.tv. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
  26. ^ http://www.marcsandersfoundation.org/about/whos-who/
  27. ^ "To freshmen: Keeping inconsistency in your pockets". YaleNews. 2013-09-03. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  28. ^ "Thought Experiments (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)". Plato.stanford.edu. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
  29. ^ "Tamar Szabó Gendler, The puzzle of imaginative resistance". PhilPapers. 2009-01-27. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
  30. ^ "Introspection (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)". Plato.stanford.edu. 2010-02-02. Retrieved 2010-05-27.


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